Metallica
Six Feet Down Under


1.5
very poor

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
November 9th, 2010 | 37 replies | 12,941 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Enter Sandpaper.

A bit harsh, but honestly, that's what this album kind of sounds like: taking sandpaper and rustling it in your ear. Metallica’s website seriously wasn’t kidding when it said that a few of the songs on the Six Feet Down Under EP would be “rough”; indeed, once the record starts, one is instantly able to hear a few fans talking loudly in the foreground, their excited chatter occasionally drowning out the efforts of the band onstage.

So, points for honesty, I guess?

For the uninitiated, the Six Feet Down Under EP was released by Metallica in September of this year to coincide with their return to Oceania (as part of the World Magnetic Tour) – after an absence of over six years. A series of performances from each other time that the band has been Down Under has been included on this EP, with two songs from each preceding tour in 1989, 1993, 1998, and 2004. Amongst Metallica’s nine studio albums, …And Justice For All and ReLoad are best represented here with two songs each.

But before we go any further, let’s go back to the issue of audio quality for a little while more, for I feel that it is utterly essential to make absolutely clear that on this release it is truly a huge vortex of suck. To put it bluntly, the Six Feet Down Under EP makes the poor mastering quality of …And Justice For All and the senseless audio clipping of Death Magnetic sound like an exercise in finesse. Although the recording quality drastically picks up in the second half of the album, the first four songs (“Eye of the Beholder”, “…And Justice For All”, “Through the Never”, and “The Unforgiven”) are near unlistenable. Grainy vocals, guitars that buzz thinly in the background, and drums that merely click harmlessly make this a rather horrible listening experience. Furthermore, the bass is nearly always a non-factor – and that’s seriously saying something, even for a bass-adverse band like Metallica. Even though it is hard to overlook the fact that most of the songs here are nothing more than fan-contributed bootlegs, ultimately the rough nature of this production makes for a release that is utterly jarring, woefully alienating, and altogether inaccessible for the bulk of Metallica's fans.

Yet this EP does have its moments: for one, it contains the best performance of “Low Man’s Lyric” that can be found on an official Metallica release, and it is truly pleasing to see one of Metallica’s most underrated songs finally given due justice. James Hetfield showcases the upper echelon of his vocal range on this slow number, and in doing so manages to turn in a surprisingly heartfelt and emotive performance. The rendition of yet another ReLoad number – “Devil’s Dance” – is also absolutely fine, with the band managing to find some compatibility between Kirk Hammett’s blues-influenced tuning and the Perth Entertainment Centre’s acoustic qualities.

I could wax poetic about the eternal battle between the album’s abysmal production and Metallica’s many merits as a live act, but ultimately it comes down to this: if you feel that you can find something to enjoy in an energetic wall of static that vaguely approximates a Metallica tune (a description particularly apt for this EP’s version of “Through The Never”), or if the prospect of solid performances of a couple of underrated ReLoad tracks excites you, then this EP should be right up your street.

Otherwise, avoid at all costs.

And start hoping that the second volume of Six Feet Down Under (to be released later this week) sounds a wee bit better.

Author's Note: This review can also be found on my personal blog (at the address http://snuffleupagush.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/damaged-justice/).



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The first section of (what I hope to be) a three part review of the three Metallica EPs to be released this year (Six Feet Down Unders 1 and 2, and Live At Grimey's).

Comments and criticisms are always much appreciated.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 9th 2010



10584 Comments


You display a lot of personality in the review, which makes it more enjoyable to read. Maybe less first person references? I feel like you said "I" a lot in this review.

Regardless, the review was excellent. Pos.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Jim
November 9th 2010



5110 Comments


i've seen this around. looks pretty pointless for a start.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@ Xeno: Just curious...does the usage of the personal pronoun make the review less effective? And does it lend to the display of personality? I'm still trying to find some balance between the two - help me out! =) + =p

@ Jim: Yeah...it kind of is. I guess it's nice to get EPs from a band which hardly ever releases new studio material anymore. On balance I'd take the occasional sub-par EP as opposed to nothing at all, I think.

Alexd93
November 9th 2010



365 Comments


Just looking at the set list i don't really see the point of this. It seems if you want live Metallica then just see Live Shit: Binge & Purge.

FadeToBlack
November 9th 2010



10913 Comments


jaymz wants a new perm

BigHans
November 9th 2010



26455 Comments


Good review, surprising that they would release someting so shitty in quality considering their resources. Live Shit is the way to go though, album slays.

Inveigh
November 9th 2010



24752 Comments


It seems if you want live Metallica then just see Live Shit: Binge & Purge.


or Cunning Stunts

nice review

Gmork89
November 9th 2010



5479 Comments


I have never heard of this recording until now. It's probably just like the live recordings they do for every tour... none of them are mastered or altered at all and they all have terrible sound quality.

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

Alexd93
November 9th 2010



365 Comments


Overall good review, I think the main problem was that you reviewed an album that immediately doesn't seem appealing. Yes, Using "I" too much can make a review less effective.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@ Alexd93:

I think the main problem was that you reviewed an album that immediately doesn't seem appealing.


LOL...can't do anything about that, can I? I've also reduced the usage of "I" in this review - hopefully that makes it flow better.

@ Gmork89: It's a region-specific (Oceania) release - that may be why you haven't seen it yet.

@ Inveigh + BigHans: Agreed. Thanks for the comments guys! And do feel free to point out any flaws/bits worth righting in this review.

@ Fadetoblack: Indeed.

Gmork89
November 9th 2010



5479 Comments


Oh that would make sense then.

Josh D.
November 9th 2010



13967 Comments


First paragraph:

one is instantly be able


Take out the "be".

Didn't know Metallica had a bunch of EPs coming out. I don't care either.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@ Josh D.: Thanks a lot man - I must've missed that error. The EP releases are rather low-key, so I'm not entirely surprised that you weren't aware of them. The quality has been rather shit too (at least thus far), so I'm not entirely surprised that you wouldn't care either - haha.

Apollo
November 9th 2010



10239 Comments


excellent review

BigHans
November 9th 2010



26455 Comments


Why would they put Devil's Dance on here? Its easily one of their worst songs.

KILL
November 9th 2010



70298 Comments


nothings worse than carpe diemeufhdf baby

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

MY LIFESTYLE!!! DETERMINES MY DEATHSTYLE!!!

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7311 Comments


Excellent review. Probably won't bother with this.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2010



7135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, don't really. Two good songs with half-decent recordings is kinda "meh" as an offering - especially for a $15.99 EP.



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